How to deal with strict parents or a toxic household

We don’t choose the families we’re born into. Dealing with strict parents or a toxic household can be difficult and tiring. Moving out isn’t always an option, but here are a few tips on dealing with strict parents or an unhealthy home.

Try to understand your parents

Everyone isn’t perfect, neither are our families. Our parents and caretakers are human and are bound to make mistakes. Sometimes toxic family members lashing out at you is misdirected anger from other places. For example, your parents may be having problems at work, which could lead to toxic behaviours towards you, such as getting angry and miscommunication. Also, strict parents often come from a place of love, wanting to protect their children from harm. When it comes to decision-making, put yourself in your parent’s shoes and try to find a healthy compromise that works for everyone.

Communicate, don’t argue


Disagreements are expected and unavoidable in a house with strict or toxic parents. Instead of both sides getting upset or angry with each other, practising communication is the best solution. Avoid getting into heated arguments and having conversations when you’re very sad or upset. If needed, take a break from the conversation and think about what you want and how to say it. Trying to listen to each other and not just fight is essential to dealing with issues in a toxic household.

Be honest, express your feelings

The foundation of any good relationship is trust and honesty. You don’t have to share every detail of your life if it brings up more problems, but avoid keeping secrets and lying. Try to have a sit-down, honest conversation with your family about how their actions affect you. This can be difficult and intimidating, so you could bring another trusted family member into the conversation as a mediator. Ask an older family member to explain to your parents in a way they would understand. Sometimes our families are unaware of the effect their actions have, so expressing your feelings could lead to a change of heart and help them reconsider the way they go about everything.

Practice self-care

Don’t allow the issues in the household to completely exhaust you emotionally. Take some time for self-care, engage in your hobbies and find healthy ways to keep your time occupied. Sometimes, enjoying an activity can make you feel a lot better. Over the weekends or during your free time, prioritise yourself and what you love. It doesn’t have to involve leaving the house, it could be any home-based activity as well, such as gaming, reading a book or drawing.

Consider therapy

If none of the issues are being resolved, consider attending therapy to help with your mental health. Whether it’s family or individual therapy, dealing with strict parents or a toxic household can be a lot to handle on your own, so consider getting professional help. Speaking to a professional and expressing your emotions can help you feel better.

Dealing with a toxic family can significantly affect your life, but take care of yourself and your mental health during the challenges.

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